I did not attend the OSU spring game today. I have been to a handful in my life. They are fun. They are a good fix for the football junkie, but they generally don’t have anywhere near the appeal of a real game. I have two distinct memories of OSU spring games.
My first was in the late 80s. Back then, I was into all sports, all the time, so I needed no spring football fix. A friend dragged me to the game, and I was pleasantly surprised. Not because of what was happening on the field or being in the stadium, but because of the rummage sale that was going on. They were selling practice jerseys for like 5 bucks each. Not replicas, the actual jerseys, and other odds and ends. It was like a military surplus sale, but for Buckeye gear. Even though I didn’t buy anything, it was cool to watch the the glee on the faces of Buckeye fans filling their man caves on the cheap.
The second, I was following around one of the kids of the legendary Steve Snapp. If memory serves me correctly, a bunch of us went because Terrelle Pryor was going to be in the stands after signing with the Bucks and we wanted to see just how big he was. Of course Mr. Snapp’s kid had a press pass and he decided to go up into the press box to get some food. He worked for one of the stations, so of course he should have had one. His dad was the SID at OSU for 30 years, so he was 100% certain that no one would care that I didn’t.
They did. I have that kind of luck. Watching Mr. Snapp peak out of his office and roll his eyes, give a little sigh, and give a half way nod in reluctant acceptance of me in the press box is one of my favorite memories. It embodied the differences of our personalities, and showed that the perennial F up and the admirable Mr. Boss could live together in peaceful harmony, at least in the spring, when the game was really just about the game.
While those two memories are etched into my mind, usually I still don’t have a desire to show up for the spring game, which is just a glorified practice. Allen Iverson has a deeper devotion to practice than I do. That being said, this spring was special.
OSU hit it out of the park.
This tweet says it all.
This is why we play #GoBucks #SpringGame pic.twitter.com/XRO0UvGf9D— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) April 15, 2017
Sports are meant to be fun, and this spring practice, like so many before it, was fun. It’s letting kids have fun, playing the game they love to play.
Minnesota went a different route, but still took it to the highest level.
P.J. Fleck turns Easter egg hunt into surprise scholarship for Minnesota football player. https://t.co/sK3camz5ig pic.twitter.com/aXKfBTRTXP— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) April 16, 2017
If you want to predict the next national champion because of spring practice, good luck, but it ain’t going to happen. If you want to have fun, because it’s football, in spring, then I get where you are going, and I want to tag along.